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The Galapagos Islands – Northern Itinerary

Day 1: En Route from U.S. / Arrive in Quito, Ecuador
Day 2: Quito
Day 3: Quito / Flight to Baltra / Santa Cruz: Highlands / Puerto Ayora – Embarkation
Day 4: Santiago: Puerto Egas / Chinese Hat Islet
Day 5: Genovesa: Prince Philip's Steps / Darwin Bay
Day 6: Santa Fe / Santa Cruz: Punta Carrion
Day 7: Baltra – Disembarkation / Flight to Guayaquil, Ecuador 
Day 8: Guayaquil / Depart for U.S.


Day 1: En Route from U.S. / Arrive in Quito, Ecuador
After an evening arrival in Quito, transfer to your award-winning hotel for a comfortable night's sleep.
Overnight: Casa Gangotena – Quito 

Day 2: Quito
Head out for a full-day, guided tour of historic Old Town. A local expert will take you through the Quito neighborhood called San Roque, where you'll visit with local artisans, including shopkeepers, hat makers, and sweet confectioners. Explore the San Francisco Market—one of the oldest in the capital. There, learn about unique Ecuadorian fruits and vegetables, as well as local culinary traditions.

Continue your journey to the cobbled street of La Ronda, featuring balconies festooned with colorful flags. Stop by a chocolatier to learn how cacao beans are processed, and taste the finest chocolates of Ecuador! 

Next, head north toward the political heart of the city. Following a brief narrative, stroll to the Jesuit church of La Compañía to admire its stunning gold-leaf interior. A lunch of Ecuadorian specialties, featuring Cocina Mestiza—a perfect blend of international flavors and locally sourced ingredients—will be served at the beautiful Theatrum Restaurant.

In the afternoon, head to the Casa del Alabado Archaeological Museum, within a restored 17th-century colonial mansion, to view its collection of pre-Columbian art. This evening, meet your traveling companions for a welcome reception and prepare for your upcoming adventure.
Overnight: Casa Gangotena – Quito (B,L,R) 

Day 3: Quito / Flight to Baltra / Santa Cruz: Highlands | Puerto Ayora – Embarkation
Arrive by plane to Baltra Airport and transfer to the Itabaca Channel to ferry across to Santa Cruz Island. After a short, scenic drive across Santa Cruz Island, arrive in the Highlands to enjoy lunch and visit the iconic species for which the Galapagos Islands are named. Spot the saddle-backed shell of the lumbering Galapagos giant tortoise and walk among them. Your naturalist guide describes their habits and the conservation efforts surrounding this remarkable reptile. 

Take a late afternoon stroll along the main street of Puerto Ayora before embarking on Isabela II

Join the captain this evening for a cocktail and briefing on the exciting activities to come. 
Overnight: Isabela II (B,L,D) 

Day 4: Santiago: Puerto Egas | Chinese Hat Islet
This morning offers a wonderful opportunity to see land and seabirds. Following a wet landing onto the black, sandy beach, a trail leads to close-up encounters with recently reintroduced land iguanas amid a landscape full of tuff-stone layers and lava flows. At low tide, marine iguanas can be spotted grazing upon the algae beds and we can also observe a colony of fur seals on Santiago Island at Puerto Egas. Enjoy snorkeling and swimming at this active location.

Santiago also has several satellite islands, including Bartolomé and Chinese Hat. The Chinese Hat Islet, formed only fairly recently, features a 1,312-foot long wildlife trail, which begins at a crescent-shaped, white sandy beach. The cove is ideal for swimming and snorkeling among white-tipped reef sharks and Galapagos penguins.
Overnight: Isabela II (B,L,D) 

Day 5: Genovesa: Prince Philip's Steps |  Darwin Bay   
After breakfast, embark on a panga ride along the cliffs of Genovesa Island (also known as Bird Island) before visiting Prince Philip’s Steps, which itself is the start of a steep but short climb up a wooden staircase. Once at the top, the terrain is pretty flat, which allows for a mesmerizing, mile-long walk to the other side of this small island. Along the way, check out large colonies of Nazca boobies, great frigatebirds, and storm petrels as well as the elusive short-eared owl. Those not wishing to hike on shore can enjoy a longer dinghy ride along the cliffs (depending on weather conditions). Snorkeling and kayaking activities are available here as well.

Following lunch, arrive at the beach on Darwin Bay for an easy stroll that involves observing hundreds of birds, mainly frigatebirds, red-footed and Nazca boobies, gulls, herons, finches and mockingbirds.
Overnight: Isabela II (B,L,D) 

Day 6: Santa Fe / Santa Cruz: Punta Carrion
This morning, visit an idyllic sandy-white beach populated by colonies of sea lions. Galapagos hawks are often easily observed, perched atop salt bushes. The Santa Fe land iguana may also be spotted during our exploration. Enjoy a leisurely walk, followed by time to snorkel and swim along a natural wave barrier, or take a glass-bottom boat ride.

In the afternoon, said to the north coast of Santa Cruz Island, to the eastern mouth of the Itabaca Channel. Board pangas to explore this rocky coastline’s interesting formations, plant life, and wildlife. There will be additional time to swim and snorkel with hopes to spot playful sea lions, dozens of reef fish (including puffers, surgeonfish, angel fish, groupers, hog fish, hawk fish, and parrot fish) and hopefully catch a glimpse of white-tipped reef sharks. 

This evening, join fellow travelers and crew for a festive farewell toast followed by dinner.
Overnight: Isabela II (B,L,D) 

Day 7: Baltra – Disembarkation / Flight to Guayaquil, Ecuador 
Bid a fond adiós to the Isabela II crew this morning prior to departing Baltra for Guayaquil, where you will spend the final evening of the program.
Overnight: Wyndham Guayaquil (B,L) 

Day 8: Guayaquil / Depart for U.S.
After breakfast, guests departing during the suggested times will take a complimentary transfer to the airport for flights home. Guests continuing on the post-tour will enjoy leisure time in Guayaquil before flying to Lima, Peru, for an evening arrival. (B)

B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, R = Reception

(Itinerary subject to change.)

Activity Level:

Moderate

Guests should be sure-footed on stairs and able to walk at least one mile on rocky, volcanic, and uneven ground, as some nature hikes will be on irregular and steep terrain. Guests should also be comfortable managing beach landings and boarding small vessels, both from shore and the deck of the Isabela II. Also keep in mind that you will experience varying altitudes, to which you may not be accustomed. 

Maximum elevation: 9,350 feet in Quito, Ecuador